We love innovations that keep people out of their cars and using alternative methods of transportation, so we were intrigued to hear about the Sporting Sail. This $79 kite-like device purportedly lets skateboarders harness the wind to control their speed.

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The idea for the kite came when its inventors, a pair of brothers in Mill Valley, California, stumbled upon a prototype sail in their grandfather’s attic. That sail was intended to help downhill skiiers catch wind. So the brothers added on some nylon, velcro, and reinforced stitching, and patented the idea.

It’s a pricey add-on for a sport that tends to attract teenagers (not the wealthiest market), but the inventors insist that the Sporting Sail pays for itself in sneakers that aren’t ruined by being dragged along the street to slow down. The Sail can also be used for skiing, snowboarding, and even as a hammock. And if that isn’t enough to persuade you, the thing looks like a whole lot of fun, to boot.

+ Sporting Sail

Via SFGate